W2W4: Trick or Treat As Rangers Begin Homestand Against Sabres

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Players To Watch

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Rangers-Benoit Pouliot: The skilled former first round draft pick has played his best hockey of late and has played a major role in each of the Rangers last two victories. Last Saturday in Detroit he scored a power play goal and later had the primary assist on Derick Brassard's overtime game-winning goal; and Tuesday on Long Island he scored the game-winner late in the third period. Those two goals and one assist, though, represent his entire offensive output this season, so the coaching staff has to be hoping that Pouliot is finding his stride and is readying to be a consistent producer offensively. With Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan sidelined, Pouliot will continue to receive opportunities to play a Top 6 role, and his recent contributions are showing that he can handle that role. Pouliot looked very comfortable alongside Brad Richards and Carl Hagelin on Tuesday. Let's see if the 27 year-old Pouliot---who recorded 20 points in 34 games with Tampa Bay a year ago---can follow it up with another strong performance Thursday and begin to build more consistency in his game.

 

Sabres-Ryan Miller: With Thomas Vanek having been traded earlier in the week, all eyes are now on Miller in Buffalo as the next likely veteran Sabre to be traded. The 2010 Vezina Trophy winner---and Team USA Olympic goaltender the same year---Miller has fallen on difficult times the last two years. A career-worst 2.81 goals against average dogged Miller last season, while this year he has lost nine of his first ten starts in goal and his GAA stands at 3.13. Of course the 33 year-old's fortunes are tied directly to his downtrodden team, and Miller has not received much support in recent years. To his credit Miller has continued to battle, and his save percentage the last few seasons has continued to be right in line with his career average of .915, though down from the .929 number he put up in winning the 2010 Vezina. Right now there are not a lot of teams looking to deal for a No. 1 goaltender, which means Miller will remain in Buffalo. But it would be a fairly major upset if he is still with the Sabres by time the season comes to a close.